October 26, 2010

Few fish were caught, but anglers still were enthusiastic
at NCBBA Red Drum Tournament …WITH SLIDE SHOW

There might have been fewer fish around, but there were still plenty of anglers plying the northern beaches of Hatteras Island looking for the prized red drum – and stripers, bluefish, and sea mullet.

The 294 anglers who fished in the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association’s second annual Red Tournament on Oct. 21-23 came from 17 states.  A Dallas, Tex., fisherman made the longest trip to Hatteras Island.

Only 12 red drum were caught, measured, and released alive this year, compared to the 151 fish last year.

Mike Metzgar of NCBBA said most of the fishermen attributed the lack of drum to the weather.

“The main culprit,” he said, “was the wind.  It was coming from the wrong direction.”

Metzgar said the wind blew from the southwest from the start of the tournament at 12:01 a.m on Thursday morning, all through that day, and into early Friday morning when it shifted to the northwest and stayed there until the contest ended at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23.

The weather was warm, and the ocean was calm.  That’s a good combination for a nice day on the beach, but apparently not the best for catching fish.

Metzgar added that fishing for other species, such as bluefish and sea mullet, wasn’t as good as usual either.

The fishing is limited to two miles north of Ramp 23 to two miles south of Ramp 38.

Most of the fish were caught between Ramps 23 to 30, Metzgar said. And eight of the 12 red drum were citation-size fish.

This is the second year that NCBBA has sponsored the tournament, which began with Frank and Fran’s tackle shop in Avon.  But, Frank Folb said last year that the tournament had gotten too big for his small staff to handle, so he turned it over to the NCBBA and he added that he has been pleased with the results.

Tournament headquarters has remained at Frank and Fran’s

According to NCBBA president David Joyner, there were 134 new anglers who had never fished the tournament before this year.

The mix of anglers included 12 juniors, boys and girls under 16. The youngest angler was a 9-year-old boy. And there were 35 “senior” anglers, 65 or older.  That included 32 men and three women. Of the rest of the anglers, 28 were women.

There were 31 judges who volunteered for the tournament.

The winners in the red drum category were:

Longest red drum overall winner was Steve Merrick of Millsboro, Del. Second place went to Bill Rowley of Rocky Mount, N.C.  Both had drum that measured 47 inches and time of the catch determined the winner.

Longest red drum by a female was won by Jan Ellis of Eldersburg, Md., with a 43 -inch fish.

Longest red drum by a junior angler went to Jacob Pirhalla of Downingtown, Pa., with a 25 -inch fish.

At the Saturday night banquet, NCBBA presented the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) with a $10,000 check from tournament proceeds. Also, Reb Gilliland from the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association also presented a $10,000 check to NCBBA for its legal fund.

A raffle for three rod-and-reel combos raised $5,340.

Tournament participants also donated a truckload of food and other items for the Hatteras Island Food Pantry.



12 Red Drum were caught during the 3 day event & all were released alive. Of the 12 caught, 8 were NC State Citations. No Senior Division or Striper Winner

Biggest Seamullet Overall

Linda Hart 1.9 lb. Indian Land, SC

Longest Bluefish Overall

Jamie Fajardo 19 in. Fuquay-Varina, VA

Longest Red Drum by a Junior Angler

Jacob Pirhalla 25 in. Downingtown, PA

Longest Red Drum by a Female

Jan Ellis 43 in. Eldersburg, MD

Longest Red Drum Day 1       2nd Place Longest Red Drum Day 1

Dylan Walker (age 14) 45 in. Al Adam 44 in.
Charles City, VA Blue Bell, PA

Longest Red Drum Day 2      2nd Place Longest Red Drum Day 2

Roy Zweidinger (Senior) 47 in. Steve Gilmartin 43 in. Apex, NC
Hillsboro, NC

This prize pays more ($700.00 value) than Senior Division ($500.00 value)

Longest Red Drum Day 3     2nd Place Longest Red Drum Day 3

Andy Wright 26 in. Apex, NC No Fish Caught

Most Red drum Registered for the Tournament

Jamie Fajardo 1 Fuquay-Varina, VA (Time of catch determined winner)

Longest Red Drum Overall   2nd Place Longest Red Drum Overall

Steve Merrick 47 in. Bill Rowley 47 in. Rocky Mount, NC

Millsboro, DE (Time of catch determined winner)

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